Primary Source Analysis: John Calvin On Predestination

956 Words2 Pages

Prerak Sachdev
Western Civilization
Prof. Andrew
4th December 2015 Primary Source Analysis - John Calvin: On Predestination In 1536, John Calvin was a French lawyer and theologian who lived in Geneva, Switzerland. He published a book titled Institutes of the Christian Religion. Originally he published his work in Latin but subsequently translated into different European languages. The Institutes outlined Calvin’s basic philosophies of “predestination” as a precondition for salvation. Calvin, like many Christian reformers, was most fascinated in discovering the true way to heaven during the Reformation. Calvin came to a logical spat regarding salvation as he fought to comprehend the word of God, According to Calvin’s ideas, God alone …show more content…

Since God was eternal, He had always known who would be saved. In naive terms (and Calvin himself was never simple), God made a list of those to be saved at the start of time and thus the list itself was eternal. Those not on the list had no hope for eternal salvation because salvation was a gift from God to those who were on the list. So they were only working to stay in God’s grace while they were there on Earth. Subsequently, those not on the list of God (highly unlikely in Calvin’s opinion) still got to heaven, but had to suffer God’s wrath while on Earth. Calvin believed that his name, of course, was on the list, as did everyone who followed his way of thinking. Calvin’s ideas about predestination spread across Europe, to Scottish Presbyterians and the Dutch Reformed Church. His ideas also had a weighty effect on the Puritans who later settled in colonial New England.
John Calvin’s doctrine of predestination was often conflicting on the grounds that it made God as unjust. However, Calvin, clarifying his conception of justice in the process, strongly answered such arguments. One objection to his doctrine was the portrayal God as tyrannical, which condemned people before creation who had done nothing wrong. A second related objection was that if God willed humanity’s fall in Adam—as Calvin maintained —why did he doomed those in the sinful condition he willed? Moreover, were such people …show more content…

The key purpose of predestination was satisfied in both salvation and condemnation that the glory of God might be shown. According to Calvin, God’s predestination was exclusively to his will, independent of external reasons, and so was eventually mysterious to humanity. For this reason, Calvin backed the inquiry by saying the predestination confined to scripture. Calvin disagreed to the claims that predestination made God unjust, so he argued that all of sinful humanity deserved punishment—and so none were fated unjustly—and that since God’s mysterious will was righteous, we affirmed that predestination was

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